Tag Archive: Josephine Ford

Review by C.J. Bunce

Some mysteries will never be solved.  That assertion is the subject of a smartly directed six-part series adaptation of Australian writer Lady Joan Lindsay’s 1960s historical Gothic mystery, Picnic at Hanging Rock, a 2018 Australian production with Amazon Studios, streaming now on Amazon.  Inspired by Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, Lindsay’s story is a mix of fantasy and reality, an indictment of intransigent Victorian mores and class strictures, and this version is a vast improvement on director Peter Weir’s 1975 infamous film adaptation.  Blending ethereal pastoral settings with dark terrors, via tight writing, impeccable historical settings and costume recreations, and a cast of intriguing, strong women, this is a must-watch for fans of British mysteries looking for something different.  It’s also a good way to catch some of your favorite young actresses in unique performances.

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If you wait long enough, any and every subject from the past will find its way to the big screen.  Coming next is a look at classic slapstick Punch and Judy puppet shows in the form of the new Australian movie, Judy & Punch The first trailer for the film is out, and it looks to have all the quirks of a fringe indie festival film, with some historical elements and high production value.  It stars Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak, Alice in Wonderland) as Judy and Quarry and Justified’s Damon Herriman as Mr. Punch–two puppeteers trying to bring their marionette show to a strange English town.

Around since at least the 1660s, Punch and Judy shows have evolved and survived like some kind of street Shakespeare.  Ever changing to tie in the current politics or crisis of the day, the shows always feature Mr. Punch introducing the beautiful Judy, followed by antics including animal puppets like a crocodile, a dog, and a horse, and almost always a police officer or constable, a skeleton, and a baby.  The slapstick includes wrangling an unsuspecting audience, displays of showmanship, puppets dropping the baby, a horrified audience, and one or more puppet murders.

Judy & Punch is directed by first-time director Mirrah Foulkes, with production design by Josephine Ford (The Quiet Earth, War Machine, Picnic at Hanging Rock), and costumes designed by Edie Kurzer (Picnic at Hanging Rock).  Here is the trailer for Judy & Punch:

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